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'Butterfly Effect' Threatens Retail, Consumer Goods Supply Chains, 3PL Says

The retail and consumer goods industry must re-evaluate its approach to its supply chains and logistics to survive the "butterfly effect" of disruptive consumers, according to a DHL-backed study.

The report “Consumer as Disrupter” identifies today’s digitally empowered consumer as a key source of disorder in supply chains and sets forth the case for building consumer-adaptivity and cost-effective flexibility into the industry’s logistics to manage such disruptions.
It describes the “butterfly effect” as a small change at a localised point in the supply chain which can result in much wider consequences for the business, such as loss of customers or brand reputation, and billions of dollars off their bottom line.
Lisa Harrington, president of the lharrington group who prepared the report in collaboration with DHL, said: “We can see that rapidly changing and often unpredictable consumer-buying behaviour – enabled by the internet, mobile connectivity and growing spending power – is now making volatility and complexity the norm rather than the exception in the retail and consumer goods industry.”

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